Summer Lee Votes No on Resolution that Falls Short of Acknowledging War’s Impact on All Innocent Civilian Lives 

Oct 25, 2023
Press

**For Immediate Release**

Contact: Summerleepress@mail.house.gov

Summer Lee Votes No on Resolution that Falls Short of Acknowledging War’s Impact on All Innocent Civilian Lives 

(Washington, DC) – Congresswomen Summer Lee (D-PA) released the following statement on her vote on the McCaul-Meeks resolution. This comes after her co-sponsoring of a House Resolution calling for an immediate ceasefireco-sponsoring of a House Resolution introduced by Rep. Haley Stevens’s (MI-11) unequivocally condemning Hamas and demanding the immediate and safe return of hostages held by Hamas. Today Lee, called for the federal government to heed the lessons of the post-9/11 endless wars by prioritizing diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and the needs of the American people over weapons transfers.

Lee said, “The violence Hamas unleashed in Israel, particularly the horrific kidnapping and killing of over a thousand innocent civiliansand children, is horrifying, unjustifiable, and must be condemned. Since that day, we’ve seen immeasurable loss and destruction upon innocent civilians in Gaza–the loss of over 6,000 innocent Palestinian lives, mostly women and children, 38 UN humanitarian aid workers, 24 journalists, and critical infrastructure–hospitals, schools, roads, churches while as many as 600 American citizens remained trapped. I believe all human lives are precious.

“This resolution does not acknowledge the overwhelming loss of life and humanity of Palestinians which moves us further from – not closer to – a just and lasting peace. This is a critical mistake that falls short of what the world needs in this moment – which is why I voted ‘No.’ 

“I advocated for those changes that would have gotten myself and others to a ‘Yes’ on this resolution. Republicans refused to acknowledge these concerns and make those humanity-centering changes.

“Collective punishment of civilians is a violation of international human rights law. A nation’s right to defense does not allow it to violate international law. Palestinian civilians in Gaza – half of whom are children – are not collectively guilty, and should not be collectively punished. The Israeli government’s response to Hamas’ attack is punishing all Palestinians in Gaza by cutting food, water, fuel, electricity and leaving two-thirds of health centers inoperable for innocent civilians. Yet, this resolution calls for tightening what civilian assistance gets into Gaza and fails to even mention the humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian civilians in Gaza, which would cause further suffering. This is at a time when dehumanizing language and calls for genocide are being repeated by top Israeli officials – language that endangers innocent Palestinians who have no connections to Hamas in Gaza and in the US– such as six-year old Wadea who was stabbed to death in his home outside of Chicago. 

“We have a once-in-a-generation responsibility to save Israeli and Palestinian lives and to help prevent another endless war that will kill and displace an entire generation of innocent children. We must ask ourselves the tough questions. Do we facilitate a mass atrocity rather than de-escalate this war? While we continue to honor and stand with the Jewish community in asserting their humanity against Hamas’ terrorism and fighting against all antisemitism, do we turn a blind eye to the plight of Palestinians? Anyone who values human life and the lives of children would answer no to both questions. 

“As our Jewish community grieves the unbelievable pain, trauma, and loss of the largest number of Jews killed since the holocaust while also grieving the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history 5-years ago this Friday, we must show love and hold space for their pain. We must hold space for Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab communities who are viewing daily heartbreaking images and videos of children in Gaza in body bags. We cannot add to that pain by engaging in an endless war.” 

“The only path to peace, the only path to saving more innocent Palestinian and Israeli children and hostages is de-escalation. The people of Gaza need food, water, electricity and now basic health care. Innocent Israeli and American hostages need to be released. We need a Ceasefire NOW. 

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